My questions involves possible medical negligence. Our premature son was approved 100% eligible for a Synagis shot during September 2012. Synagis is medically known to prevent infants and especially premature infants from becoming infected with RSV- Respiratory Syncytial Virus. This Synagis shot was very important for our son to receive considering he is high risk- born three months premature and spent the first four months of his life in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU). His nurse spent countless hours on the phone with the two big pharmacies and our insurance company attempting to get the Synagis shot sent to the doctors office for our son. The two pharmacies just blamed the responsibility on the other, messed up the eligibility and insurance information, eventually delaying the process for our son to get the Synagis shot. So on December 26, 2012 our son became ill and tested positive for severe RSV and spent 6 days in the hospital. RSV is a very serious illness and can lead to asthma and bronchiolitis later in life! During his stay at the hospital he demanded breathing treatments and suctioning every 2-3 hours (he was eventually discharged with a nebulizer and suctioning machine with instructions to provide the breathing treatments/suctioning every 3-4 hours). He was put back oxygen, suffered from respiratory distress and a fever, experienced wheezing and fast breathing, coughed so aggresively that he vomited on a regular basis, his appetite decreased and as a result he ended up losing weight. The only reason our son was not put on IV is because after numerous "pricks" to find a good vein, the nurse could not find a good vein and decided to give him various medicines orally. The doctors prescribed antibiotics and steriods to help him get better. You can imagine what we are now experiencing after dealing with our son spending 4 long months in NICU. The sleepless nights, stress, anguish and emotional distress we experienced as we attempted to nurse our son to good health. He was discharged on January 1, 2013 and he still receives breathing treatments every 4 hours. We (parents and nurse/doctor) strongly believe that if our son would have received the Synagis shot this turmoil could have been prevented. This failure to treat and delay in treatment on behalf of the managed care organization is unacceptable and they should not be allowed to treat patients/members as if their health is unimportant. There is no excuse as to why our son did not receive the Synagis shot, he was approved shortly after being discharged from the NICU and it should not take over three months to provide the Synagis shot and no one especially a premature baby should have to deal with this illness because of neglect. Please advise on how I should proceed with this issue, thank you.
1 Answer from Attorneys
You may or may not have a case. The determination as to whether or not there is a claim for medical malpractice is really a medical question rather than a legal question. You have to get all your medical records and charts and have them reviewed by an expert to make the determination as to whether or not your doctor has failed to follow the standard of care in the community in which he or she practices. Once you have the expert opinion taking the position that there was a failure on the part of your doctor to follow the proper standard, then we have to see what are the damages you are claiming.
Because prosecuting a medical malpractice is very expensive, it only makes sense to pursue cases where the injuries are of catastrophic and permanent nature. Smaller injuries can simply not be pursued because the expected award will be far less than the cost of the prosecution.
Get your medical records and have them reviewed by an attorney to see where you stand in terms of a viable claim.
I hope this helps-
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